Monday, November 19, 2018

How Gamification Won

I remember hearing Rajat Paharia on a panel discussion some years ago denouncing the term Gamification. He was at the time dubbed the Father of the strategic technical discipline. Logically, the commodification of the behavioral practice wore him out. I understand the fatigue.

We've been talking about Gamification in the Human Capital Management space for 10 years, mostly in attempt to simplify the concept to form an opinion for or against it.

A decade later, Gamification is less a buzzword, but unavoidable as a business strategy.

Expelling the G Word
Take away the badges, levels and comparisons of Call of Duty to Business Process. Eliminate the G Word from the lexicon and we can better extol the virtues of Gamification.

You start with 5 intrinsic motivators:
  • Autonomy
  • Mastery
  • Purpose
  • Progress
  • Social
Then take a look at how said motivators birth Game Dynamics:
  • Competition
  • Collaboration
  • Community
  • Achievement 
  • Progress
  • Exploration
And finally, create program initiatives that are measurable while scaling the aforementioned diversity of behavior models:
  • Points
  • Levels
  • Missions
  • Badges
  • Quizzes
  • Extrinsic Rewards
A little more expansive than a video game!

Without Intrigue Engagement Is Impossible

We can seek to develop our workforce in 3 ways:
1. Carrots (rewards)
2. Sticks (certification)
3. Gamification (intrigue)

You can dismiss the theory because your tech doesn't do it. You can pretend Gamification is infantile. You can bat your eye at technical developments.....

In reality, if you are unwilling to scale, you will fail!   

Anyone who has ever played a sport knows that if the coach micro-manages, the player will do just enough to stay in the game. Better to teach a player to fish than to pretend regulation drives progress. 

Participation trophies are continually frowned upon in certain cultures, but presenting an ongoing goal progression model works better than telling a person to do their job or they'll be fired. 

If your only motivation is to stay in the game.... you will never score!

Think of the worst boss, customer or relationship partner you've had in your life. My guess is that they shared a commonality:

The status they sought to establish in your life was based on Ego-Influenced Control!   

We all cherish the moment we walked away from a boss who bullied us, a life mate who sought to break our sense of self or the step father who pretended to rule with an iron fist. 

The minute you take control away from a bully, he/she curls up into the corner they attempted to put you in.

If the rule structures in our performance metrics turn from manager control to social amplification, the silos burn down. 

Leaderboards have the ability to promote introverts as a secret weapon!

Badges give employees a sense of purpose and a renewable application for long term success.

... neither are more important in application than the long term effect they have on process. 

The end never justifies the means.

Winning with your best players is a short term transaction. Developing every player is a long term strategy for sustainable success!

Don't Forget to Remember!


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